So, what exactly does a Teacher at Hong Kong DE do in a day? Teaching schedules are decided by the Operations Team, and from teacher to teacher, they vary greatly. Many things need to be considered when placing someone; availability, suitability, experience levels, and more.
We offer a variety of classes all across Hong Kong, and a normal day might see a teacher staying in one place, or perhaps moving around to several different locations, teaching a variety of students. There’s many different ways we teach English, and kinds of classes we offer at DE. We teach in schools, learning centers, perform in schools, and even do some special events in more public areas.
“Since I have been in Hong Kong teaching I have been a full-time NET in schools, and also experienced being sent all over the place. Both have their benefits; when you are working as a full-time NET, you really become a part of the school you are at, with students coming to see you and other teachers asking for your help which really is great. However you do miss out on seeing some wonderful places in Hong Kong, and may not get to interact with many international teachers. Being sent to a few schools satisfies both of these things, as you get to meet many people from all over the world, work alongside them, as well as getting to know local colleagues.” – Alex McRoy, from UK
Drama isn’t something that many students in Hong Kong have the opportunity to do, as most schools do not have a dedicated drama department. Even fewer have an English drama department. Whilst drama can be a language that transcends verbal communication, giving the students the opportunity to practically utilize and apply their English is invaluable. It gets them out of the classroom, and allows them to deepen their knowledge in a safe, engaging environment.
Though not all of our teachers teach drama, they still utilize dramatic elements in their classes. Though every school has a Native English Teacher (NET), their lessons are generally quite standard, and delivered using traditional classroom methods, i.e. the teacher imparts knowledge on the student who is the blank slate.
The Hong Kong Lifestyle
Boasting the title of “most vertical city in the world”, Hong Kong housing is mostly low and high rise apartments.
Most flats will require a month’s rent in advance and a deposit (usually also 1 month’s rent); if you are using an estate agent then an agency fee may also apply (usually equivalent to half a month’s rent). So please note, you will need up to 2.5 month’s rent to start up accommodation here. The deposit is usually returned to you at the end of your lease. The amount you pay will be determined by location and whether you live alone or share. Current teachers are paying between $3500-$5500HKD (living in a shared house with room mates) and $7000HKD+ (living alone in a small “studio apartment”).
In the certain areas of Hong Kong (such as Causeway Bay and Wan Chai), you are going to pay more per square foot. Living alone in central locations you can expect to find “studio apartments”, which are basically very small one room living environments (often without washing machines or even kitchens). The bathroom, which will be the only extra “room”, often consists of a shower nozzle over your toilet (the benefit being you can clean your toilet while you shower…). Some places to look for housing are listed below.
COST OF LIVING
Hong Kong can be very cheap; you can get a meal from as little as $30HKD. However, being the financial capital of Asia, it’s a city that also caters to the very wealthy.
Can I get [product] in Hong Kong?
It is pretty easy to get most anything here in Hong Kong. There are supermarkets catered entirely to western tastes, and you’ll find many familiar brands from the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. Most of your favourite clothing brands are available, though the average size here is a little smaller, so you may have trouble finding larger sized shoes, clothing and/or underwear.
What is the average cost of products?
It can sometimes be hard to get a picture of what daily life can cost in another country. Here’s a few commonly purchased items to give you an idea. If you want, convert the prices into your home currency to get a clearer picture.
Chocolate bar – $9HKD
Can of soda – $6HKD
Chicken breasts – $30HKD
Head of lettuce – $4HKD
Milk (1Lt) – $18HKD
Toothpaste – $18HKD
Whilst some things such as dairy products are a little more expensive than what you may be used to, this is offset by other products such as vegetables; a visit to your local grocer can net you a shopping bag full of vegetables to last the whole week for less than $30HKD.
Public transport in Hong Kong is fast, cheap, and efficient. With so many transport options, you’re always connected.
Hong Kong uses a similar system to the UK’s Oyster card – it is called Octopus, and can be used on nearly all types of transport, except taxis. In addition, it can be used in restaurants, shops, and more. As such, it is considered more of a “cash alternative system” than just a public transport ticket.
The underground and overland rail system, the MTR, is generally the fastest way to get around.
Taxis in Hong Kong are readily available, and begin with a flag fall of around $22HKD for the first 2km.
Double-decker buses go most places that the MTR does not, and minibuses go everywhere else.
Double-decker trams run the length of Hong Kong Island. Costing only $2.30 HKD per trip, they are a cheap, and scenic option – as long as you’re not in a hurry.
Light Rail Tram
Connected to the western rail section of the MTR, the light rail trams connect the large spans in between the MTR stations.
Energetic Hong Kong knows how to party and does so visibly and noisily. Drinking venues run the gamut from British-style pubs through hotel bars and hipster hang-outs, to karaoke bolt-holes aimed at a young Chinese clientele. – Lonely Planet
Hong Kong tends to have separate districts for whatever it is you’re looking for, and the nightlife is no exception. Head to Wan Chai for sports bars and British pubs, SOHO for high-end bars, and Lan Kwai Fong for clubs and dancing – and that’s just a few of the areas on offer on Hong Kong Island. There are thousands of hidden away areas that you’ll discover!
In Hong Kong, you can dress a bride, redo a house and amuse a child one street at a time. The South China practice of grouping similar businesses on one street means you can do much more: goldfish, birds, clothes, electronics and shoes – if it’s worth shopping, it has a street here. – Discover Hong Kong
Markets in Hong Kong operate at all hours of the day, with some not opening until 4 or 5pm because they stay open so late. You can find most anything as long as you know where to go, and prices are very reasonable – if you don’t mind bargaining.
Hiking and walks
There’s a beautifully rural world within a hiking boot’s throw of Hong Kong’s downtown. A dragon’s back, deserted beaches, volcanic landscapes, feng shui woods and remote temples await your discovery. – Discover Hong Kong
There are hundreds of beautiful walks all around Hong Kong, featuring varying levels of difficulty, and all types of terrain. This extremely popular weekend activity has been made easy thanks to websites such as Hike Hong Kong, that offer step-by-step guides on all sorts of different hikes – how to get there, how long it will take, etc.
These are just a few of the things you can do in Hong Kong. It’s a vibrant and exciting city with loads on offer!
The Hong Kong lifestyle is fast and busy, which can be difficult for many people at first, but you’ll fall into the rhythm before you realise it. It’s a city that stays up late but gets up early.
Where is it?
Hong Kong is located in the Guangzhou region of China, at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta. Officially, it is called Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) and is governed by China. It has its own economic and political system. There is a border between Hong Kong and the mainland, so when you are in Hong Kong you are not, strictly speaking, in China.
Languages: Cantonese/English/Putonghua (Mandarin)
Population: Approximately 7.3 Million
Currency: Hong Kong Dollars (HKD)
Time Zone: GMT+8:00
Telephone Area Code: +852
Climate wise, Hong Kong really only has three seasons. Summer, which is hot and humid, (29-34C, 95% Humidity) lasts for most of the year, fortunately most places are air-conditioned, unfortunately many of these places threaten to freeze you to death so it’s always handy to carry an extra layer like a cardigan or coat. Winter is fairly dry and mild with some surprisingly cold bursts with the temperature dropping down to 4-8C. Autumn is quite a pleasant time in Hong Kong and is usually the busiest time for tourists.
Because it is a tropical environment, it is also prone to extremely heavy rain sometimes. You’ll need to carry an umbrella around during Typhoon season!